Thursday, August 16, 2012

Quote of the Day:   “If I had my life to live over again, I’d be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein

Very few Americans are aware of the fact that 80% of the world's population uses squat holes.  That's right - - 80% squat over a hole and never use a toilet.  I tell you this because we insist on toilets here at our mission.  When you are in your 60's and arthritic, you just don't squat anymore.  However, finding and getting four western toilets installed here was hard but not impossible.  None of the four match any of the others, so none have interchangeable parts.  When the one off our bedroom broke (the locals think we are mad to have places inside our homes for such filthy business), it took two days to find someone who could fix it.  He showed up with no tools to assess the problem.  He never did bring any tools but used ours.  He correctly figured out the problem and then had to go to town to find the parts (seals, plastic floats, etc).  I had to give him the money he guessed he would need and then wait.  Several hours later he returned with almost all the parts.  We had to send Juliana to get the last piece.  When he had it fixed (by the way, there is only one man in all of Bunda who can fix toilets), he told me it was going to be very expensive--about $20.  I happily paid him after paying only $20 for all the parts he needed as well.  So, for $40, we got a new toilet (everything but the porcelain) and a day's work from our fundi (craftsman).  We were lucky he wasn't at a funeral out in his village because he had just gotten back.  But that's what daily life is like here.  Never boring, always special, and usually very inexpensive.
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